San Antonio-area city warns residents of dive-bombing hawks

The City of Helotes urges its residents to watch out for hawks that were seen around the town.

The City of Helotes urges its residents to watch out for hawks that were seen around the town.

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The City of Helotes is urging its residents to watch out for hawks that were seen nesting around the San Antonio-area town. Officials are warning the community as they say hawks are known to dive-bomb individuals who get too close to their nests. 

According to a Facebook post from the City of Helotes on Thursday, May 19, the city's animal control center was first contacted about several hawks spotted in the area. The post wrote, "Keep an eye out for these birds, and keep your head up when walking outside."

Hawks are effective hunters, helping to maintain a balance of predators and prey in woodland and grassland areas, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife. Their diet includes rabbits, rodents, and other small mammals, as well as small birds, snakes, lizards, frogs, fish, insects, and crayfish. Nest-raiding birds, snakes, mammals, and humans prey on hawks.

The birds aggressively defend their nesting areas during the spring when eggs are in the nest, according to TPWD. The females incubate the eggs while the males hunt for them. Once the eggs have hatched, both parents hunt. 

Helotes officials reminded the public that hawks are also protected in the United States under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) of 1918 (16 USC, 703-711). The MBTA prohibits the take (including killing, capturing, selling, trading, and transport) of protected migratory bird species without prior authorization by the Department of Interior U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.